Going on Safari
Shopping insight is about investing in increased sales. It’s about finding the solutions to the points of friction that inhibit conversion, the barriers that stop consumers becoming shoppers or shoppers becoming buyers. If you can capture great insights that improve your conversion rates by just 1%, you gain the knowledge that will deliver an immediate uplift in sales.
Sometimes, however, when debriefing to the wider business insight hits a wall of “we’ve tried that before”, “that will never work”, or “the retailers will hate that”. As researchers we need to think about how to create a more open forum for our insights, and that isn’t just about great story telling on the day, it’s also about taking the clients on the research journey with us.
So, where practical we should start projects off with a Safari. No, unfortunately not of the African savannah type! When we talk Safari at Shoppercentric we’re talking about immersing ourselves and our clients in the very environments in which our insights need to live and breathe –shops and websites. By starting out where our research ultimately needs to deliver, we are able to absorb the context that is so important to shopping insights. And by taking our clients along with us, we can all better understand what it is that has the potential to positively or negatively influence shoppers. We can also have a much more detailed discussion about the challenges our clients are facing when they look at turning insights into action out there in the real world.
Going on Safari gives everyone - researcher, trade manager, or marketeer – an opportunity to see for themselves what is actually happening in today’s retail ‘jungle’. What do the environments look like in reality vs the CGI planograms poured over in trade meetings? How does activation look in situ vs the design agency’s pitch presentation? What are the additional factors that can be overlooked such as overall ambience, clutter, noise… and shoppers themselves!
Using the shopping environments as our stimulus for discussion at the start of a project means it is easier to get all the client issues or dilemmas out into the open from the start. Whether its challenges around space, retailer branding principles, or shelf size, the environments themselves act as strong prompts to a more detailed review of the project objectives. In the process we can capture the competitive context in terms of ranges and experiences, whilst also using the outputs of the visits to ensure our hypotheses really hit the mark.
By immersing ourselves and the insight stakeholders in the target environments we are reflecting the very nature of shopping insight – the external view point that it both brings to a business, and that business decisions need to reflect. As a result, we frame the research in the context in which it must deliver. What’s more, we potentially break down the supplier / client / internal client barriers far more quickly than a discussion over the brief in a meeting room at head office.
So, next time you think about kicking off a shopping insight project – book yourself on a Safari!